Wednesday, July 17, 2024

National Indigenous Peoples Day to be celebrated at Kemptville’s Ferguson Forest Centre

Photo via Ferguson Forest Centre

Indigenous and non-indigenous locals alike are invited to partake in a fundraising initiative that promises good food and an even better atmosphere to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day. 

As part of their ongoing dedication to reconciliation and sharing Anishinaabe culture, the Ferguson Forest Centre has announced they are partnering with Indigenous residents of North Grenville, with the sponsorship of the Municipality’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, to create an Indigenous commemorative site in Kemptville. This site aims to bring the community together and recognize the culture, traditions and history of the Algonquin territory.

To help raise funds for this commemorative site, a lunch will be held in the scenic Ferguson Forest Arboretum at 241 Honour Way. The lunch will take place on Saturday, June 22 from noon to 1:30 p.m. 

For just $20, visitors will be offered a meal of tacos (vegetarian option available), served alongside strawberry juice and a berry dessert as a sweet treat. Catered Affairs will be providing the food, which is sponsored by the Indigenous Advisory Circle. All proceeds will go towards curating an Indigenous space within the Ferguson Forest Centre. 

According to a release from Explore North Grenville, the vision for this commemorative site was designed by local artist Finian Paibomesai. Paibomesai’s design will take the form of a medicine wheel, symbolic of the four elements fire, earth, water and wind. 

The release explains, “The dedicated site is designed to recognize the culture, traditions and history of the area which is part of the Algonquin territory. It is a welcoming and open space that will be used to celebrate Anishinaabe culture and as a site for cultural events… It will be a site for gathering, meeting, learning and reflection.”

Lorraine Rekmans, a member of the Municipality’s Indigenous Advisory Circle and the FFC Indigenous Space Committee told Brockvilleist that she initially brought the idea of creating a commemorative site to the Ferguson Forest Committee a year ago and she looks forward to fostering more community awareness at the lunch. 

Rekmans explained, “The goal is to have the space established to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day on September 30. We’re looking to have additional phases to include more elements such as a structure to allow for use of the space in all weather.”

To register for the fundraising lunch, visit IndigenousForestFundraiser.eventbrite.ca or email Chris Wilson at FergusonForestIndigenousSpace@gmail.com

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